Birmingham SlossFest profile: Lillie Mae

Birmingham SlossFest profile: Lillie Mae
Catch rising star Lillie Mae at the SlossFest Shed Stage Sunday, July 16, from 3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m. (contributed)

Performer: Lillie Mae

Type of music: Bluegrass that meshes into country to rockabilly to Appalachia, delving into pop

About: Like Cher, Beyoncé and Adele, the up-and-coming Lillie Mae has one of those matchless voices – and such a stand-out personality – that her last name is rendered an after-thought.

Lillie Mae Rische famously began her career at the tender age of 8, when she and her three siblings – who comprised the traveling band, Jypsi – were discovered by Cowboy Jack Clement. He brought the Rische clan to Nashville, where, true to their “Jypsi” founding, they traipsed through just about every dive and honky tonk in Music City. It wasn’t long before the Rische family was singing and recording into the wee hours with Clement — perfect training for a young girl who would be on the road nearly 365 days of the year, performing at arenas, theaters and festivals. Indeed, Lillie Mae has played hundreds of gigs during her short 26 years on the planet.

Another famous Jack had a huge influence on Lillie Mae’s music. She was introduced as Jack White‘s fiddle-playing protégé in their 2014 duet, “Temporary Ground.”

However you know her, Lillie Mae left the shadows as White’s back-up musician, coming into her own in April with her debut LP, Forever and Then Some. Her White Stripes mentor, who happens to own Third Man Records, produced the LP that rose to critical acclaim.

Lillie Mae puts to good use her soulful vocals, which she swirls into a mix of Appalachia, rockabilly and country. More than 20 years of practice have honed her sometimes fast-and-furious fiddle. Expect to catch a glimpse of her soul in every Lillie Mae song. In the April 2017 Rolling Stone, she unabashedly admitted that she wished she could always write “up tempo.” Follow this rising artist on FaceBook and YouTube.

Discography: “Forever and Then Some,” “Over The Hill and Through The Woods” and “Temporary Ground.”

You may have heard: “God knows Who I am,” “Wash Me Clean,” “Mama,” “Tennessee Line,” “Just the Way It Goes,” “Honky Tonks and Taverns” and “Rain On the Piano.”

Playing at SlossFest: Lillie Mae will perform on the Shed Stage Sunday, July 16, from 3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Sloss Music and Arts Festival takes place at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham July 15-16 and features 40 performers on four stages. Tickets can be purchased here

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